Child poverty in London has reached “shameful” levels touching all 32 boroughs of the city, according to campaigners.
A total of 650,000, or four in 10 young people in the capital are living in poverty, according to the End Child Poverty campaign.
Figures released to coincide with the launch of the End Child Poverty London Project show the most deprived borough is Tower Hamlets, where nearly two-thirds of children live in families on the brink of poverty. The East London borough is followed by Newham, Hackney and Haringey.
The campaign highlights the widening inequality within one of the world’s richest cities.
In the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea, for example, three quarters of children in the Golborne ward are living in deprivation, less than two miles away from Kensington Palace. The rate in the neighbouring ward of Queens Gate is 8%.
Hilary Fisher, director of End Child Poverty, said: “Poverty blights children’s lives. In the sixth richest city in the world it is shameful that this level of destitution is allowed to continue.”
The End Child Poverty London Project will provide links between the many innovative projects which are operating successfully in some communities but have not been replicated in other parts of the city.
It will focus on 10 of the most deprived inner London boroughs, where one in two children live in poverty, in its first year.
This will be extended to 20 inner and outer London boroughs in the second year of the project.
Project co-ordinator Liz Thorne said major obstacles to improving standards of living included poor-quality housing, rising unemployment, and the lack of affordable childcare.
The project’s launch comes three months after children’s minister Beverley Hughes urged every family-centred service in London to make tackling child poverty a priority.
London child poverty reduction effort needs greater co-ordination, says commission
Department for Work and Pensions – information on child poverty